I don’t usually comment much on the rise and fall of news organizations because it’s mostly political media navel-gazing that doesn’t matter much. But I was genuinely sad to see Al-Jazeera America shut its doors and that’s because it did such good reporting. It’s too bad that the Qatar government didn’t see that the way to build this up was to keep the digital edition and get rid of the television network. Josh Marshall says they totally misunderstood the American television market and that may well be true. There may be a place for good journalism and there may be a place to make money, but they aren’t the same place. It was also pretty stupid not to rebrand. Al-Jazeera simply is not a marketable name in the United States, not after 9/11.
Hopefully these great reporters find an outlet that will actually pay them to do great reporting. Otherwise, the knowledge of our world will become more barren.